This is certainly something that you can do with a script. But since there are lots of ways of designing a catalogue, I don't think there is a ready made script or plugin that will suit everyone's needs. For a job like this I would write a custom script. Like with datamerge, the simplest way to read an Exel spreadsheet with a script is by saving it as a .csv-file.
There are a number of catalog plugins out there.
Em Software, 65bit and Woodwing all have products for this.
My problem now is that it has now taken off and I have over 500 properties that need to be inputted. I have the information in an excel spreadsheet and I was wondering is there a way of automating the data from excel into InDesign so that I don't have to keep manually typing everything in? I have looked at datamerge, but it seems very restrictive.
Since scripts can do almost anything, your question is very underspecified. Why not tell us exactly what restrictions of Data Merge bother you?